Mac OS 10.6.6 brings Mac App Store, Angry Birds to OS X (updated)

Mac OS 10.6.6 brings Mac App Store, Angry Birds to OS X (updated)

Summary: Apple today released Mac OS 10.6.6 which includes the brand-new Mac App Store and -- shudder -- Angry Birds for my desktop. Now how am I supposed to get anything done with Angry Birds on my desktop Mac too?


Apple today released Mac OS 10.6.6 which includes the brand-new Mac App Store (press release).

The Mac App Store is just like the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. So it’s as easy to find and download Mac apps as it is to add your favorite magazine to iPad or a new game to iPod touch. You can browse Mac apps by category, such as games, productivity, music, and more. Or do a quick search for something specific. Read developer descriptions and user reviews. Flip through screenshots. When you find an app you like, click to buy it.

As expected, Apple is offering several of its own applications in the new Mac App Store, including iLife '11 component applications at $14.99 each, iWork component applications at $19.99 each, and Aperture 3 at $79.99.

Other notable highlights include Angry Birds (yes, for the desktop!), Twitter, Chopper 2, Weather and a metric butt-load of games.

You can grab Mac OS 10.6.6 from Software Update, although I recommend performing a complete backup, then updating with the larger, combo updater file.

I just hope that this isn't like the launch of the iOS App Store -- because I spent over $500 during the first two weeks.


After playing with AB, Chopper and a couple of other apps for a little I'm impressed by speed and launch times. They're amazingly fast. It's interesting to note how different developers handle porting touch-based games (like AB) to a keyboard and mouse or trackpad environment. AB simply turns the cursor into a finger that's used to click:

When's its time to actually launch birds, the thumb and index finger change into more of a grabbing hand icon.

Seriously though, do I really need another platform to play Angry Birds? And the answer dear friend? Yes, I most certainly do. AB looks amazing on my 15-inch MacBook Pro screen but especially amazing on the new Apple 27-inch Cinema Display, and the sounds also appear to have been upgraded too. (Either that or I've never heard the birds moan like that when they hit the ground.) I highly recommend that you plug your desktop rig into a nice set of powered speakers (like the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40s) to get the full effect.

The new UI will take some getting used to, luckily most applications support ESC to escape from full-screen mode and Command-Q to quit. So far it looks like a good effort by Apple, developers are undoubtedly thrilled right about now.

Have you purchased anything from the Mac App Store yet? Post your early review in the TalkBack.

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Apple copies Linux?

    The concept of repositories and downloading applicatons from curated sources has been around under Linux for a long time. Heck, a "new" entrant like Ubuntu has had an Ubuntu Software Center since 2009 (Ubuntu Karmic to be precise).
    • Apple is simply improving on that process. [nt]

      • Really?

        I don't know if "improving" so much as "implementing". The App store will probably have more reviews and information for the offered apps, but as we've seen on the iTunes App Store, those reviews are often skewed and not always as valuable as they seem.

        The "improvement" will be one-stop shopping, although I imagine that other, non-Apple sources will remain and will get use as well.
      • You state it as fact

        Yet you can't back it up at all. You are simply repeating what you read in Apple's marketing material.
    • A new distribution model for developers

      Similar to Maverick Meerkat implementation.<br><br>Both enable remove the substantial barriers of entry for developers, particularly smaller ones.<br><br>Good move, good technology, good for users.<br><br>Surely Apple copies Apple here (iOS App Store 2008)
      Richard Flude
  • Alright, Jason, you make a great salesman!

    I just downloaded Angry Birds to play on my 27" iMac. (I had Angry Birds installed on my iPad already.)

    Hey .. it was only 5 dollars and now I have a game for my niece and nephew to play when they come over to visit. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!! Grin.)

    By the way, Angry Birds viewed on the 2560 X 1440 resolution of my 27" iMac is an awesome experience. Although I pipe the sounds out to a Bose Wave stereo used as my system speakers (hey .. I'm retired and this was my dream system), I was not able to hear any stereo sound enhancement. Like I said, you make a great snake oil salesman!
  • Am I the only one who

    took a look at that size of the combo update and said "Woah. What?"

    Or have I just been missing something and they're all that big?
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Apple launches Mac OS 10.6.6, Mac App Store

      Obviously, there is more going on with this update than just a simple App Store install.
      • I'd hope so

        Otherwise that would have to be a HUGE app store.

        That was just the first thing that caught my attention (nothing new about an app store, after all).
        Michael Alan Goff
  • angry bird .....

    man this is addicting
  • RE: Apple launches Mac OS 10.6.6, Mac App Store

    This is GINORMOUS! A great day for computing.
  • I had to chuckle at your spending $500 in one week, Jason

    If I had that much to spend in one week it would be going towards replacing this 6-year-old G5. I've downloaded the 10.6.6 Combo for my husband and now I'm wondering if I should let him have have it! I guess it's just as well I'm the download freak in this household. :-)
    Laraine Anne Barker
  • RE: Apple launches Mac OS 10.6.6, Mac App Store

    I've put the Mac App Store through it's paces already, and I am quite a fan. I just wrote an in-depth article about some of my first impression s, and I would super appreciate you checking it out at this link: